Due to an increase in positive cases of COVID-19 in Mercer and Raleigh counties and upon the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control, West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, and Mercer County Health Department, EFFECTIVE THURSDAY, AUGUST 26, 2021 UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE, ALL STUDENTS, COLLEGE PERSONNEL, VISITORS, AND CONTRACTORS MUST WEAR A MASK AT ALL TIMES WHILE ON THE BLUEFIELD STATE CAMPUS AND IN THE MEDICAL EDUCATION CENTER RESIDENCE HALL REGARDLESS OF VACCINATION STATUS. Masks are not required in private residence hall rooms or a personal office space with a closed door. When someone enters that space, the mask must be put back on. Anyone with a medical disability that will not allow them to wear a mask, must contact Carolyn Kirby at 304-327-4098 and provide medical documentation that states the issue for the reason why they cannot wear a mask. This does not exempt people from wearing a protective covering. Alternatives will be explored with any individual needing accommodations. All face coverings must be 3-ply. Bandanas, cut off shirt sleeves, etc. are not acceptable. Masks will also be provided by personnel at the check-in stations on campus to anyone who has insufficient face coverings. These procedures are designed to protect all students, their families, college personnel, and our community. Our college is committed to ensuring the health and safety of our community, while continuing to provide a quality education. We appreciate all that you do to make this happen. Return to Campus Plan COVID-19 Resources COVID-19 FAQ Vaccination Dates Message From the President Return to Campus Plan and Guidelines Operating rules are: 1. Prior to the start of the semester all Students/Faculty and Staff must present to the Bluefield State College Health Center to be COVID tested between August 2 through August 11. You must have a negative COVID test on file to be allowed on campus. The final date for submission will be August 16, 2021. You may have your test done at any facility however the test must be done after August 2, 2021, and it must be submitted to the Bluefield State College Health Center. You may send your results by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or you may fax them to us at 304-327-4325. If you have been vaccinated and have your vaccination card, please bring this to the health center so that we may make a copy to be kept on file. 2. Masks are not required for the current academic year but are strongly encouraged. If a surge in positive cases occurs, the campus may return to mask wearing. Regardless of vaccine status, you are strongly encouraged to wear a mask, social distance, and handwash frequently. 3. Check-in for entering the campus will remain the same. Person(s) will report to the check-in desk, answer the questionnaire, have their temperature taken, and be given a wrist band for the day. It is mandatory to wear the wrist band while on campus. During check-in if your temperature reads 99 degrees or above, you will be asked to sit for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, your temperature will be taken again. If your temperature continues to read 99 degrees or above, you will be asked to go to the Bluefield State College Health Center located in the Ned Shott Building Room 210 to be evaluated. Once evaluated the Nurse Practitioners on Staff will give you further directions. Upon check-in you will be asked a question regarding travel. If you have traveled more than 150 miles from campus within the last 14 days, please answer the question “yes” and tell the check-in worker where you have traveled. You will be contacted by a representative of the Bluefield State College Health Center if you have traveled to an area that has been deemed as high risk for COVID. Further instructions will be given by the Nurse Practitioner. Point of Contact Desk Locations Conley Hall: Darlene Gilley 1st Floor, Welcome Desk Library: Jim Leedy / Nancy Turner / David McMillan Front Desk of the Library Entrance Mahood Hall: Michelle Baker 1st Floor, M-109 PE Building: Vonda Wilson 4th floor, P-414 Basic Science Bldg.: Carolyn Kirby Ground Floor, BG07 Dickason Hall: Susan Shrader 4th floor D-438 Dickason Hall: Delano Sweeney 1st floor, D-123 Beckley Campus: Rita Taylor BSC Office, W11 Maintenance Bldg: Sherri Neal Room 108 Hatter Hall: Felicia Oakes Welcome Desk Student Center: Daniel Ellison / Kaitlin Kinser 1st Floor Residence Halls: Ronald Shidemantle 1st Floor 4. If you have a primary exposure outside of campus (in close contact 15 mins or more), you must notify the BSC Health Center and you will be given further instructions. This process has been developed following CDC guidelines and input from the B-State’s Back Committee and is subject to change based on updates from the CDC. If you have any questions regarding this process, contact the BSC Health Center Monday through Friday from 9-5 at 304-327-4170 or email@example.com. The campus COVID rates are being monitored daily, and further interventions will be placed as needed to keep the campus community as safe as possible. Click Here for the Fall 2021 Academic Calendar Lastly, everyone should check e-mails often (even your Junk mail) and monitor the College’s website. We have experts working hard to keep everyone informed. COVID-19 Resources COVID-19 – Guidance from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Bluefield State College COVID 19 Guidelines for School year 21-22 Ailments Across the United States Currently Occurring With Similar Symptoms Guidance for Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) Temporary Policies Relating to COVID-19 Safety Operations for Bluefield State College Students Reopening Procedures Following COVID-19 The Erma Byrd Higher Education Center and Allied Health Wing June 25, 2020 COVID-19 Testing Sites Near Bluefield Campus COVID-19 Testing Sites Near EBHEC (Beckley) COVID-19 vaccine frequently asked questions Federal Higher Education Relief Fund Cares Act Reports Employee Rights: Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave under The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Center for Disease Control (CDC) COVID-19 DHHR State of West Virginia COVID-19 Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center Are You Worried about COVID-19 and Don’t Have a Primary Care Provider DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health and the West Virginia Poison Center. Operators are available 24/7, toll-free at 1-800-887-4304 NCAA Division II Athletics Coronavirus Plan NCAA Coronavirus (COVID-19) NCAA COVID-19 Advisory Panel Exercise Recommendations COVID-19 Testing Sites Near Bluefield Campus COVID-19 Testing Sites Near EBHEC (Beckley) Southview Pharmacy (located inside Grants Supermarket in Bluewell) 140 Majestic Place Bluefield, WV 24701 (304) 589-5025 Dealing With Stress COVID-19 FAQs May 12, 2021 Q: If all my classes are online, do I need to be tested? A: If you will not be on campus at all, you will not be required to be tested. However, if you need to come to campus for any reason (testing, bookstore, student services, etc.), you will need to have the results of a negative test on file. Please send a copy of your results to firstname.lastname@example.org. Q: Do I have to be tested on campus during COVID testing events? A: You do not need to come to the Bluefield campus for testing. You can test through your local physician, health care provider, or medical lab. We will have information about how you can test in the Beckley area. We will need to results of a negative test to include you in our database to be on campus. You can email your results to email@example.com. Q: When a student learns they have tested positive for COVID-19, who should they contact first? A: The BSC Health Center (304-327-4170). Q: If an individual’s COVID-19 positive test result is received during a weekend or evening, who should be contacted? A: The BSC Health Center (304-327-4170). Q: Whose responsibility is it to contact the individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19 through contact with an individual who has tested positive? A: The BSC Health Center (304-327-4170). Q: When students and/or employees have been exposed to an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, should the students/employees be told who tested positive? A: No. Q: When a county health department is doing contract tracing, are BSC representatives allowed to provide them with names of people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 by contact with an individual who has tested positive A: The BSC Health Center will contact the appropriate county health department, which will contact the individual who has tested positive and obtain from them a list of individuals with whom they’ve been in contact. The health department will then notify those individuals. Q: How will faculty and staff be notified that students are cleared from quarantine to return to class? A: The student will obtain documentation from the BSC Health Center or the student’s physician, confirming the student has been cleared from quarantine to return to campus. Q: If a student contacts a faculty member or employee, reporting they have tested positive for COVID-19, what does the faculty member or employee need to do in terms of reporting the information? A: The faculty member/employee is to report this information to the BSC Health Center and tell the student to contact the BSC Health Center. Q: What is COVID-19? A: CDC’s guidance COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus, is a new respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, which has spread globally, including regions in the U.S. Learn about COVID-19 at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. Q: What are the symptoms that COVID-19 can cause and how is the virus spread? A: CDC’s guidance Current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Read about COVID-19 symptoms. Coronavirus is thought to spread mainly from person to person between people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet). The virus spreads via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes and their droplets either land in the mouths or noses of nearby people or are inhaled into their lungs. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface that has the virus on it and touching their mouth or eyes before washing their hands, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. For more information, see the CDC page, How it Spreads. Q: What is the College's advice for faculty, staff, or students who plan to travel? A: BSC urges faculty, staff, and students who have personal or professional plans to travel either internationally or to affected areas in the U.S. to reconsider their travel and to consider the possibility of travel delays, future quarantines, or prolonged self-isolation when returning from travel to the BSC and Mercer County communities. BSC encourage faculty and staff to share any travel plans with their department chair, dean, or manager to facilitate College assistance if the need arises. However, given concerns surrounding the spread of COVID-19, we urge student and college groups to self-report any travel plans with the Office of the Dean of Students Cravor Jones(phone number:(304) 327-4016)(Email: firstname.lastname@example.org) BSC encourages student groups to reconsider travel to any international or domestic location affected by COVID-19. For more information, see the CDC travel information website. Q: Will students, faculty, or staff arriving from areas impacted by COVID-19 be isolated? A: Students returning to BSC expected to follow the guidelines of the West Virginia Department of Health and CDC regarding any mandatory quarantine or isolation procedures. Students, faculty, and staff are instructed to follow the CDC’s guidance for self-isolation if traveling from countries with widespread sustained transmission of COVID-19. Students should contact their faculty via email to make arrangements for missing class (see related FAQ below). Employees should contact their Director for any questions about leave. Students returning from affected areas to other states should follow guidelines from their state's public health department. Q: What occurs when someone from Bluefield State contracts the virus? A: Should a case be positively identified, appropriate communications as guided by the West Virginia Department of Health will occur. For additional information regarding locations impacted by COVID-19 visit the CDC’s global map and the West Vriginia Department of Health’s surveillance data. Q: How can I help protect myself? A: The best preventative steps for any communicable disease include simple but important measures to practice as part of your daily routine, but especially during flu season: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Avoid sharing anything that has come in contact with saliva, whether in your living or social environments. Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals to ensure a healthy immune system. Additional information is available from the CDC. How to wear a face mask Q: What if I had close contact with someone I believe to have coronavirus (covid-19)? A: Should a case be positively identified, appropriate communications as guided by the West Virginia Department of Health will occur. Protocols are in place for cleaning on-Grounds residences of affected students and work spaces of affected faculty and staff. Administrators will work with faculty to make accommodations for extended student absences. Q: How can we help prevent social stigmatization? A: BSC has encouraged community members to become familiar with the facts about COVID-19 and support one another with compassion. If you have questions please contact, BSC’s Interim Dean of Students Office Cravor Jones, by calling 304-327-4016 who has resources to help address any concerns both informally (through coaching and training), and formally, if the situation should arise. Q: Where do I go for more information? A: Students with personal health questions: email BSC Student Health Center: email@example.com Faculty and staff to Contact your medical provider for personal health questions General questions: Sherri Williams firstname.lastname@example.org or Call 304-327-4170 Academic policy-related inquiries: Contact the Office of the Provost email@example.com or 307-327-4161 College travel: International Studies Office: Dr Jamkandi firstname.lastname@example.org or Call 304-327-4036 College email announcements: BSC News and Events, and BSC Portal Non-medical support resources: Office of the Interim Dean of Students, Cravor Jones email@example.com or Call 304-327-4016 Academic Advising and Counseling: Rebecca Martin firstname.lastname@example.org or Call 304-327-4444 Faculty/Employee Assistance Program: Jane Miller email@example.com or Call 304-327-4046. Public information related to the virus: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; West Virginia Department of Health Q: How is the college keeping students, parents, faculty and staff informed? A: BSC is communicating regularly with Mercer County Health Department, Raleigh County Health Department, and local hospitals. News and Alert messages are sent to our listserv as information becomes available. The web site is reviewed and updated as needed to keep the BSC campus informed. Fall Semester Classes and Academics – For Students Q: How will classes be delivered for the fall semester? A: Courses will be delivered in face-to-face, online, and hybrid/blended formats. Students should check their BSC e-mails and Moodle messages daily and contact their instructors to clarify the delivery format. Q: What should I keep in mind if I am considering dropping a course or withdrawing due to COVID related issues? A: Students considering dropping a course or withdrawing from the College are encouraged to discuss their situation with their academic advisor and their instructors, the Counseling Center, or another representative of the College before making the decision. Each student considering withdrawal from the College will be given the opportunity to speak with a responsive, caring representative of the College. The Counseling Center staff, Dr. Cravor Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org (304-327-4016) or Dr. Tamara Ferguson at email@example.com (304-327-4155), will conduct a brief exit interview with the student to facilitate positive action, whether that means withdrawing, remaining, or planning to return to school at a later date. A student who decides to withdraw must obtain a Permit to Withdraw Form which must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office: firstname.lastname@example.org. Q: Whom should I contact if I have a question? A: Students who have any questions or concerns my contact the Student Affairs Advocate, Dr. Ted Lewis, Provost at email@example.com or 304-327-4161. Classes and Academics – For Faculty Q: Can an employee refuse to wear a mask? A: Please click the image below for more information. Visitors to the College Q: Is the college suspending any visitors at this time? A: Bluefield State College campus buildings are open to faculty, staff, administrators, students, and the general public. All visitors are required to stop at the point of contact at each entrance to each building for a temperature check and to receive a mask, which must be worn at all times while on campus. Additionally, a Coronavirus Exposure Form must be completed by anyone who enters a campus building. Following the screening process, the visitor will receive a color-coded wristband for entry into other campus buildings. A visitor who fails the screening process will be asked to leave the campus immediately. Q: What is the guidance for anyone planning to host an international visitor or a conference, seminar or other event with international visitors? A: All conferences, seminars, and other events on each campus of Bluefield State College are approved on a case-by-case basis. Everyone participating in an on-campus event is required to stop at the point of contact at each entrance to each building for a temperature check and receive a mask which must be worn at all times while on campus. Additionally, a Coronavirus Exposure Form must be completed by anyone entering a campus building. Once approved, the individual will receive a color-coded wristband or stamp for entry into any campus building on that day. Everyone must sign in at the point of contact desk at each building to indicate they have been screened and are considered low risk for having the Coronavirus. Anyone who fails a screening must leave the campus immediately. All athletic events and competitions will strictly follow NCAA requirements. Anyone wanting to schedule an event on campus must contact the Dean of Students, Cravor Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-327-4016. Events and Meetings Q: What are the current college restrictions on routine internal meetings (e.g., staff meetings)? A: Meetings are recommended via phone, Google Meet, etc. Each room on campus has been measured for social distancing with a designated capacity limit. College Offices Q: What precautions will be in place for College Offices? A: Precautions may include plexiglass shields, face shields, masks for employees, wiping down of all surfaces, etc. Vaccination Dates Responding to the increasing number of positive COVID cases in this region, Bluestone Health Association, Inc. and Bluefield State College are partnering to offer Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations on August 27 and September 2. The vaccinations will be administered at Bluefield State College’s Medical Education Center, the former Bluefield Regional Medical Center, at 500 Cherry Street from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm on both dates and are available free-of-charge to the public. Directions Message From the President May 22, 2020 May 6, 2020 April 28, 2020 April 21, 2020 April 7, 2020 April 1, 2020 March 24, 2020 March 18, 2020 Letter From the President March 16, 2020 Dear Bluefield State Community: We are working daily to adjust to the shifting news about the coronavirus (COVID-19). My message today is for our students, faculty and staff. Your well-being and education will always be our primary focus. The situation is rapidly evolving. Bluefield State College has no confirmed cases of the coronavirus at this time on campus. That said, we cannot eliminate all risk, but we are taking aggressive steps to minimize it. Because this situation is changing every day, more precautions make sense. We are undertaking the following changes to continue our educational mission. Effective Monday, March 16, 2020 until Sunday, March 29, 2020: Classes at Bluefield State's main and Beckley campuses will not meet in-person. Course content and instruction will move to online, effective March 22nd. Students will participate in these classes, complete assigmnents, and engage with their professors at prescribed meeting times. This teaching platform will ensure that students are able to complete their courses and meet their academic requirements. Additional information on how students will use this technology will be coming from the Office of the Provost. Bluefield State leadership will be working on an individual basis with students who reside in off campus housing to assure their ability to comply with their classwork assignments. The State of West Virginia has suspended college sponsored travel as well as nonessential travel for staff and faculty. Athletic games are suspended during this time. We want to mitigate the congregation of large groups of people. The changes, do not affect Bluefield State's day-to-day routine staff business. We will maintain academic and other support services. Our Threat Assessment Team will have further information for you. Cleanliness is a top priority. Our cleaning crews have taken extra measures to keep public and common areas on campus, as well as in resident housing and the dining hall clean with daily disinfections. This includes walls, windows, lavatories, railings, doors, floors and more. We will continue to disinfect the places students touch most. Additional hand sanitizing stations have been set up in high traffic areas. Our Threat Assessment Team is in place to ensure your well-being. This team is working closely with local government agencies and the local hospitals as well as in coordination across the campus. Students with academic concerns should connect with their professors or advisors. For those who are experiencing anxiety or excessive stress, please reach out to the Counseling Center at 304-327-4016. Bluefield State will always keep the latest information here at the top of our website. A hallmark of Bluefield State is our caring community, our day-to-day interactions, our small classes and strong relationships between professors and students. We understand that these measures are disruptive but we believe they will help minimize the risk. We are committed to returning to a normal state of operation. I want to thank our faculty and staff as they work hard to implement these initiatives; they are dedicated to the best interests and success of our students. The Bluefield State community is at its best when we work together. We are in challenging times. It's our commitment to each other that will help us all see this through.